Stream Based IO in Java





Java programs perform Input Output through streams. A stream is an abstraction that either produces or consumes information. A stream is simply a sequence of bytes that flows into or out of our program. It’s an abstract representation of an input or output device.

  • A stream is linked to a physical device by the Java IO stream.

  • All streams behave in the same manner even if the actual physical devices to which they are linked differ.

  • Thus, the same IO classes and method can be applied to any type of decvice.

  • This means that an input stream can abstract many different kinds of input:from a disk file, a keyboard or a network socket.

  • Java implements stream within class hierarchies define in the java.io package.


Types Of Streams:

1. Byte or Binary Stream.

2. Character Stream.

Byte/Binary Stream :

  • Byte stream provide a convenient means for handling IO of bytes.

  • Byte streams are used for example, when reading and writing binary data.

  • Byte streams are defined by using two class hierarchies:
    At the top are two abstract class

  • java.io.InputStream and

  • java.io.OutputStream.

  • Each of these abstract classes has several concrete sub classes, that handle the differences between various devices.

  • The abstract classes InputStream and OutputStream have several key methods, that the other stream classes implement.

  • Two of the most important methods are read() and write(), which respectively read and write bytes of data.

  • int read() throws IOException
    Returns the next byte available from the stream as type int. If the end of the stream is reached, the method will return the value -1.

  • int read(byte [] array) throws IOException
    This method reads bytes from the stream into successive elements of array. The maximum of array.length bytes will be read.

  • void write(int data) throws IOException

  • void write(byte [] array) throws IOException

Character Stream :

  • Character streams provide a convenient means for handling IO of characters.

  • They use Unicode and therefore internationalized. Also, in some cases character stream are more efficient than byte stream.

  • Character streams are defined by using two class hierarchies.
    At the top are two abstract class

  • java.io.Reader and

  • java.io.Writer.

  • The abstract classes Reader and Writer several key methods, that the other stream classes implement.

  • Two of the most important methods are read() and write().

  • Methods for performing character based reading operation:

  • int read( ) throws IOException

  • int read(char [] array) throws IOException

  • Methods for performing character based writing operation:

  • void write(int data) throws IOException

  • void write(char [] array) throws IOException

Standard Stream :

In java, 3 standard stream objects are implicitly available.

1. System.out : standard output stream,
Type: PrintStream,
Represents: system's console,

2. System.in : standard input stream,
Type: InputStream,
Represents: system's keyboard,

3. System.err : standard error stream,
Type: PrintStream,
Represents: system's console,

Next topic is file-handling




 




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